Computer Keeps Locking Up

Hello everyone.

I'm trying to fix my girlfriend's Dell computer, and it's boggling my mind. Normally I'm pretty good at troubleshooting, but this is just odd.

She has a Dell Inspiron 530, it's about 3 years old.

- 6GB DDR2 Hynix RAM
- ATI Radeon 2600XT HD
- Intel Q6600 Quad-Core

The problem started about a month ago. Randomly the computer will do one of two things:

1. It will completely lock up. I can't move the mouse, do anything. I have to manually press and hold the button. It doesn't matter if I'm gaming or browsing the Internet.

2. The screen will go black, and the monitor enters "Power Save" mode. However, if music or anything is playing, you can still hear it and anything else running. So it's like the video card just gives out.

I have ran Memtest overnight, it came back with no errors after about 6 passes. So that just makes me think it's the video card.

I have updated the drivers to the card, updated Windows, defragged, etc. Nothing is helping.

Can anyone help me with this frustrating issue? Thanks.
9 answers Last reply
More about computer locking
  1. what you got if the monitor is connect to the internal video output and remove the pci-e card
  2. The lock up could be a sign of bad hdd sectors. Not sure about the power saver mode. Have you tried making a custom power plan?
  3. what PSU is it?
  4. hpdeskjet said:
    what PSU is it?

    Just the standard PSU that came with the tower. Like I said it just started having errors the past month, and the computer ran fine for 3 years...

    @scout_03 I don't have onboard graphics, so that isnt an option.
  5. if this is the right model and a desktop they both have internal graphic
  6. scout_03 said:
    if this is the right model and a desktop they both have internal graphic

    Mine doesn't. No other port on the motherboard I can see for VGA or DVI connections.

    I took the side cover off. I have a fan blowing on it, and I cleared away any dust from the fan over the heatsink of the processor.

    I just don't think it'd be overheating, the GPU is running 45-48C idle and around 60-65C load.

    If the RAM is good as well, I'm not sure what else it could be.
  7. well then post the exact link off this inspiron
  8. If you've set the computer to never turn off the monitor and this still happens, I would guess that there might be something wrong with the PSU or something (maybe the mobo?). Three years is a pretty decent amount of time for a prebuilt machine. Doesn't sound like an overheating problem either given the temperatures you provided.
  9. Well according to Everest on her computer, the idle temps for her processor and GPU are both only 45-50C idle. And she doesn't do much gaming other than some Need For Speed World and random Steam Games. But like I said it locks up randomly, whether gaming or not.

    I also changed the DVI port it was hooked into, and left the cover off like I said.

    So Memtest passed, so it's narrowed down to the PSU or GPU.

    I'd hate to take it into GeekSquad, they'd charge me as much just for the call as it would to fix the damn thing.

    And if anyone was wondering, the monitor isn't even 6 months old. It's a Dell 23" Flat Panel, so I doubt it's the monitor.

    And if it's the MoBo, the computer is ****ed, not like I can run out and buy another to replace it. I'd have to pay to get it sent in and replaced. That'd be an easy $200-300.
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